Life expectancy rates are up - women and now living longer than men.
Infant mortality is coming down.
Average family now having around 4 kids - overall population growth rate continuing to come down.

Marriage age level up in country


The trend of late marriages in both males and females is increasing in Pakistan as a newly conducted Pakistan Demographic Survey (PDS) reveals that the marriage age for males increased up to 26.4 years from earlier 23.3 while women’s age from 16.7 to 22.3 years. The results of the survey conducted by the Federal Bureau of Statistics, also shows that the life expectancy in females is better than males. This rate at birth is 64 years for males and 66 years for females. Female life expectancy has been lower than that of males in Pakistan in the past, however, now the universal pattern has been observed in Pakistan, i.e. female life expectancy is slightly higher than male life expectancy. Females have lower death rate against males for most age groups except for the ages 0-4 years and some ages during the reproductive period.

The natural growth rate as depicted from PDS is 1.95 per annum. This rate has declined about 5 per cent in 2003 as compared to 2001. The high natural growth rate during the last few decades was the result of a steadily declining trend in mortality with only moderate decline in fertility. With this high growth rate, the population of the country will double in 36 years, the PDS report further revealed. About 76.2 infant deaths per thousand live births were recorded in the year 2003, which has declined by 1.2 per cent as compared to 77.1 in 2001. Infant mortality rate has been declining in Pakistan but it is still high. According to the survey results, an analysis of data from 1961 to 2003 indicates an increasing trend in the marriage age for both male and female. The age at marriage for males from 23.3 years in 1961 had risen to 26.4 years in 2003, similarly for females, the age at marriage increased from 16.7 to 22.3 years during the same period. The corresponding figures of the census 1998 also show a similar pattern. This trend would contribute in fertility reduction in the country, the report added.

According to PDS, the Crude Birth Rate (CBR) calculated for the year 2003 was 26.5 per thousand population, which showed a considerable decline of 4.7 per cent as compared to 27.8 per cent in 2001. The General Fertility Rate (GFR) derived for the year 2003 was 114.5 per thousand women, which is about 5 per cent lower as compared to 120.8 in 2001. The Total Fertility Rate (TFR) was 3.9 children per woman of reproductive age (15-49 years) in 2003. The total fertility rate has declined by 4.9 per cent as compared to 4.1 per cent in 2001. The Crude Death Rate (CDR) was 7.0 per thousand population for the year 2003. The CDR has declined about 2.8 per cent as compared to 7.2 per cent in 2001. The CDR in rural areas was higher as compared to urban areas. This rate has declined about 16 per cent during the last five years, which is mainly due to better medical facilities made available in the country. The Natural Growth Rate of population for the year 2003 was 1.95 per cent per annum, which is about 5 per cent lower as compared to 2.06 per cent in the year 2001.

The main objectives of the PDS survey are to collect statistics of births and deaths in order to arrive at various measures of fertility and mortality for Pakistan and its rural and urban areas; to estimate current rate of natural increase of population at national level and to collect information on other selected characteristics of population and to asses the impact of family planning and other Socio-Economic developing programme. The households with five or less persons constituted 36 per cent of the total households in the survey of PDS-2003. The corresponding figures i.e. 37 per cent in urban areas whereas 38 per cent in rural areas were shown in PDS-2003 respectively. The households constituting 10 or more members in the survey were 17 per cent. Crude Birth Rate is the simple way of measuring the current fertility level in any population. It is defined as the number of births in a year per 1000 (mid-year) population. The crude birth rate as obtained from the PDS 2003 was 26.5 per 1000 persons.

The crude birth rate is about 13.6 per cent higher in rural areas as compared to urban areas. Slowly up to the age 35-39 years and rapidly in the age groups 40-44 and 45-49 years. This trend was observed in both urban and rural areas of the country. The report also shows the age specific fertility rates for PDS 2003 and 2001. It may be noticed that in both the surveys the modal age group was 25-29 years. The data indicates that 4 to 6 per cent births were contributed by the women below the age of 20 years and 1 to 5 per cent of births had occurred to women of the age of 40 years and above in the survey of 2003. About 89 to 92 per cent were contributed by the women between the age of 20-39. The percentage contribution of births is higher in urban areas than that in rural areas in the age group of 20-34 years. The percentage distribution of births contributed by age group 15-19 years is higher in rural areas than that in urban areas, which shows the traditionally early marriages in the rural females.